Guggenheim Presents A Year with Children 2020

Guggenheim Long-standing Arts Education Initiative, Learning Through Art, presents A Year with Children: an ebook of original works by New York City public school Students from Grades two through six.

Learning Through Art (LTA), the Guggenheim Museum’s pioneering arts education program, launches A Year with Children 2020. The annual presentation, now in its 49th year, has been adapted to an e-book format since the museum is currently closed. The multimedia e-book features over 1,000 artworks created by students in grades two through six from the 12 public schools across New York City’s five boroughs who participated in LTA during the 2019–20 school year. The e-book may be viewed and downloaded free of charge at

Program Overview

The Guggenheim’s Learning Through Art program was founded in 1970 by Natalie Kovner Lieberman in response to the elimination of art and music programs in New York City public schools. LTA encourages curiosity, critical thinking, and collaborative investigation at the museum, in the classroom, and beyond, and has served nearly 150,000 children over the last 49 years. In the 2019–20 school year, 11 teaching artists facilitated 17 residencies in 12 New York City public schools. They worked closely with classroom teachers to develop projects that promote visual literacy and connect ideas and themes to the school’s curriculum.

The participating schools are: from the Bronx, PS 86 (Kingsbridge Heights); from Brooklyn, PS 8 (Brooklyn Heights), PS 9 (Prospect Heights), and PS 188 (Coney Island); from Manhattan, PS 28 (Washington Heights), PS 38 (East Harlem), and PS 145 (Harlem); from Queens, PS 219 (Flushing), PS 130 (Bayside), PS 144 (Forest Hills), and PS 317 (Rockaway Park); and from Staten Island, PS 48 (Grasmere).

LTA immerses students in the creative process, prompting them to view themselves as artists. At the start of the academic year, each student is given a sketchbook and an artist’s apron, imbuing a sense of ownership over their work. Throughout the program, teaching artists demonstrate practices similar to those that they use to spark their own creativity. Students’ investigations are also inspired by the Guggenheim exhibitions they visit during the school year, including modernist artworks on view from the Thannhauser Collection and an exhibition of sculptures by Constantin Brancusi. When viewing art, students participate in inquiry-based discussions that elicit careful observation and interpretation. Despite the closure of New York City schools this spring, teaching artists have continued to engage with students through digital lessons that direct students in independent art projects that require only simple and accessible materials. Partner schools have also been able to participate in free live virtual tours of the museum led by our team of educators.

E-book Overview

As a result of the museum’s temporary closure due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, A Year with Children 2020 will take place in the digital realm. The multimedia e-book features over one thousand examples of student artwork; 52 videos and audio tracks of teaching artists, students, and classroom educators; snapshots of residencies; and project descriptions. It also contains documentation of the annual exchange with the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, where students in Bilbao and New York share their experiences in art making through correspondence and photos.

The students embark on a year-long exploration of processes, materials, and techniques to express their singular artistic visions, incorporating multimodal approaches, including text, music, games, and collaboration. By understanding foundational concepts, students are able to experiment with a wide variety of media to consider essential questions such as “How are we connected to the natural world?” or “How can we tell a story without words?” and develop responses through a process of seeing, dialogue, and creation. The works published are expressions of that process.

A Year with Children 2020 is organized by Greer Kudon, Director of School Programs; Amy Boyle, Manager, Learning Through Art; Emmy Goldin, Associate Manager; Michelle Wohlgemuth Cooper, Education Associate; and Lara Tootleman, Education Coordinator.

Cyra Levenson, Deputy Director and Gail Engelberg Director of Education and Public Engagement at the Guggenheim, stated, “The new format for this venerable and vital arts education program was developed in response to the museum’s closure, and we are proud to continue our commitment to Learning Through Art by offering this publication to an expanded, digital audience. A Year With Children honors the learning over the past school year that has developed not only in the classroom and in the museum, but also in our homes. ”

For more information about Learning Through Art, please visit

Distance Learning and Guggenheim at Large

Although the museum’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building is temporarily closed, the Guggenheim remains a virtual community committed to igniting ideas, discussion, and creativity. The museum offers a series of online educational and inspirational programs designed for kids, teens, and families, providing creative, hands-on opportunities for children to explore the museum from home with their parents and caregivers. For educators, free teaching materials as well as guided virtual lessons by the Guggenheim’s educators and staff are available, designed to facilitate active learning and engage students in careful observation and the development of language and critical thinking skills. Details are available at

Learning Through Art and A Year with Children 2020 are generously supported by Stavros Niarchos Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Additional funding is provided by Guggenheim Partners, LLC; The Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation; Gail May Engelberg and The Engelberg Foundation; The Cornelia T. Bailey Foundation; The Keith Haring Foundation; Anna Kovner and Seth Meisel; Con Edison; JPMorgan Chase; the Sylvia W. and Randle M. Kauders Foundation; the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Inc.; the Henry E. Niles Foundation, Inc.; and an anonymous donor.

The Leadership Committee for Learning Through Art and A Year with Children 2020 is gratefully acknowledged for its support.

The Sackler Center for Arts Education is a gift of the Mortimer D. Sackler Family. Endowment funding is provided by The Engelberg Foundation; the William Randolph Hearst Foundation; The Elaine Terner Cooper Foundation; the Esther Simon Charitable Trust; the Anna Kovner and Seth Meisel Education Endowment Fund; and the Goldring Education Endowment Fund.

Educational activities and/or public programs are made possible in part by Ornellaia; The Freeman Foundation; Carnegie Corporation of New York; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; Stavros Niarchos Foundation; The Pinkerton Foundation; Katherine and Peter Kend, Annie and Gaines Wehrle, and Michael Wehrle in honor of Ebersole Gaines and Peter Lawson-Johnston; and The Hilla von Rebay Foundation.

Funding is also provided by Guggenheim Partners, LLC; The Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation; Gail May Engelberg and The Engelberg Foundation; The Keith Haring Foundation; Jacadi Paris; The Barker Welfare Foundation; CBRE; and an anonymous donor.

Additional support from John L. Thomson; Peter Bentley Brandt; Lauren and Scott Pinkus; Bobbi and Barry Coller; Con Edison; JPMorgan Chase; Peggy Jacobs Bader and John Bader; Margarita and Ari Benacerraf; Sylvia W. and Randle M. Kauders Foundation; Lisa and Jeffrey Thorp; PunkinFutz, LLC; the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, Inc.; the Henry E. Niles Foundation, Inc.; the Mann-Apatow Family Foundation; Zina Starosta-Egol; and Cecilia and Mark Vonderheide.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation thanks the members of the Education Committee; the Asian Art Circle; the Latin American Circle; and the Middle Eastern Circle for their support.

To find out more visit the Guggenheim website.